Exploring Past, Present and Future of European-African Security Relations

19. November 2021, 14:00 - 15:30 Uhr

Vortrag mit Bonn SDG Fellow Dr. Maria Ayuk über die europäisch-afrikanischen Sicherheitsbeziehungen.

For many decades, the focus on security has been centred on traditional security, occurring right from the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial eras. Conventional security issues are centred around threats against the significant values of the state, territorial integrity, and political sovereignty. Traditional security issues such as inter-state conflicts, competing international systems of order and the return of geopolitics were considered prime. However, the emerging conversation now is centred around non-traditional security. Non-traditional security challenges such as natural disasters, terrorism, extremism, gang violence, cyber and energy security, human security, and health security, precisely pandemics like COVID-19, are considered threats in a landscape that has been described as transnational.

More importantly, Europe has remained a critical security partner of Africa since the period of colonialism. Due to pressing global challenges and the increasing geopolitical importance of the African continent as a hotspot for climate change, insecurity and instability, migration, extremism, terrorism, rapid population growth etc., strengthening relations with African countries has been of strategic importance for the European Union (EU). Almost no conceivable security task can be handled without the EU’s help, especially in and near Africa, but also well beyond it. Many scholars have questioned such a relationship as interventionists, particularly the conduct of the EU in Libya, Mali, and the broader West African Sahel region. The connection is not confounded on equity, co-production of knowledge and co-solutions, but rather an issue of an asymmetrical power relationship of “white saviour”. How can the EU and Africa broaden their roles, fill up all the gaps existing in their security relationship in the future, considering further emerging challenges to their symbiotic relationship, especially with other actors like China, the USA and Russia?

Against this backdrop, this lecture aims to revisit European-Africa security relations by looking at the past and present affairs and projecting the relationship in the next decade and beyond.

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Richard Rohde
Head of Section Bonn, Gesellschaft für Sicherheitspolitik e.V.


Dr. Maria Ayuk
Bonn SDG Fellow, CASSIS, University of Bonn



Dr. Rogelio Madrueño
Research Fellow, CASSIS, University of Bonn

Weitere Informationen

In Kooperation mit der Gesellschaft für Sicherheitspolitik e.V. (GSP).

Diese Veranstaltung hat in englischer Sprache stattgefunden.

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